MalawiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Minister of Transport and Public Infrastructure Muhammad Sidik Mia has asked Chinese contractors working on the Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must) in Thyolo to ensure that they transfer some expertise to the locals.
Mia was speaking when he toured construction works on the university on Tuesday.
He said, through working together with the Chinese, the local craftsmen need to improve their skills so that they construct more beautiful buildings in the country.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am very impressed with the quality of construction works taking place at this university. I am confident that once this is finished, it will transform the district.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“What I would like to see is that the Chinese contractors transfer some of their expertise to the local people so that we have a pool of expertise who can construct modern buildings in our towns and cities,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Mia.
The Chinese Government is funding the construction of the university which is part of a package of promises it made when Malawi switched its diplomatic allegiance from Taiwan to China in December 2008.
Under the package, the Chinese also built the new Parliament building in Lilongwe and are constructing the Karonga-Chitipa Road, a five star hotel and international conference centre as well as a modern stadium.
Chinese Ambassador Pan Hejun said the construction of the university is expected to be through by the end of this year.
Pan said the Chinese are ready to help Malawians develop their skills in construction as well as many other areas.
Speaking when he laid a foundation stone for the university in April last year, President Bingu wa Mutharika described Must as a milestone in the countryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s quest for quality education.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This is a step towards the realisation of my dream of establishing six more new universities. I conceptualise this infrastructure and personally designed some of the buildings,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Mutharika to a sizeable audience that braved the harsh weather.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I have donated 650 hectares of my Ndata Farm to Malawians just for this university. It will have three hundred staff houses and it will be accommodating three thousand students at once and an in-built game reserve, making it one of the biggest and most unique campuses in the country.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I want you my people to take lead in developing our country. We have a moral duty and obligation to get out of poverty. Development takes place when people take full control of their resources,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
Apart from scientific and industrial engineering, Mutharika said there would be a special faculty in African Traditional Medicine, saying it makes no sense for black people to be despising traditional medicine.